No one expects Porsche to outsell General Motors so it’s unreasonable to expect Apple to top Dell, Compaq or Gateway, columnist Charles Haddad opines in his ”
Byte of the Apple
” column for
Business Week Online
“Apple represents 3 percent of U.S. computer sales and Porsche a measly 0.2% of the U.S. car market,” he writes. “Ah, but what a two-tenths of a percent it is: the richest of the rich, willing to pay $40,000 for a base model Boxter and $100,000 or more for a speedy 911. Sadly, as a group we Mac enthusiasts are not so financially well endowed. Still, the market we represent deserves the same respect as Porsche’s.”
Haddad says that the Mac stands for craftsmanship and artful use of technology. And he’s tired of “so-called industry experts bellyaching” about Apple’s small market share.
“Most analysts confuse size with success,” he said. “If all it took were a top 10 ranking in market share then Gateway, the No. 4 PC retailer, would be wallowing in black rather than red ink.”
Haddad talks of Apple’s bank account (“bulging” with US$4.2 billion), iBook sales (sales of 182,000 “in a very soft market”), and entrenchment in some key niche markets (education and life-science research, for instance). But it’s “delusional” to believe the Mac OS will ever overtake Windows as the dominant operating system.
“That war is long over,” Haddad writes. “It’s time to accept and acknowledge Apple lost, and that it’s okay. Today, Apple plays the role of innovator well. It continues to surprise the industry, introducing computers shaped like Kleenex boxes and made out of titanium. Not all of these innovations succeeds, but so what? To paraphrase Jobs, the company wouldn’t be trying hard enough if it didn’t produce a bomb every now and then.”
The columnist is betting that Mac OS X, “once it’s perfected,” will be Apple’s next industry shaker. He says that in two years, “Bill Gates will be whipping his hordes of Windows developers to copy OS X’s photo-realistic look and translucent dialogue boxes.”